“The master does her best and lets go, and whatever happens, happens.” — Lao Tsu (Tao Te Ching)
That’s the mantra by which I’ve been leading my life…though I had forgotten it along the way. I stumbled upon this quote again, just when I needed it most! At the start of a new year, a new phase of my life (the rip-roaring 30s!) and just when I was beginning to allow a new pattern to emerge — allowing the “uncontrollable” to control me. So next time I’m going down that route again, I’m just going to re-member my mantra!
After all, how much of what we beat ourselves up for everyday is really worth what we put ourselves through? How much of it is going to matter next month, next year, or 10 years from now?
Think to yourself, when something is bothering you or a disappointment arrives: Is it really a matter of life or death, as my emotional reaction seems to insist, or just ephemeral local weather conditions which will soon be replaced by other thoughts and feelings? Thus, Buddha said to remind yourself that everything is impermanent, fleeting, contingent, like a dream, like an illusion. This will help loosen up your tight grip on unreality.
Why worry about that which is so fleeting and impermanent? It does nothing but detract us from our inner peace and tranquility.
Here is one secret of spiritual mastery and inner peace, freedom and autonomy: It is not what happens to us, but what we make of it that makes all the difference. We can’t control the wind, but we can learn how to sail better. It’s not the hand you are dealt but how you play it, as the cliché goes.